Tuesday, August 31, 2021


This happened yesterday:
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Former House Speaker Paul Ryan told WISN 12 News on Monday there should be no question that President Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election.

"President Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election," Ryan said to WISN 12 News reporter Kent Wainscott during a rare interview....

"It was not rigged. It was not stolen. Donald Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election. It's really clear," Ryan said.

"So the fact that we continue to have election audits?" Wainscott asked.

"He exhausted his cases," Ryan said. "He exhausted the court challenges. None of them went his way, so he legitimately lost. Is there mischief, organized shenanigans in elections? Sure. Is there fraud? Yes. Was it organized to the extent that it would have swung the Electoral College and the presidential election? Absolutely not," Ryan said.
Which makes me suspect that his fellow Wisconsinite wanted this to go viral:
Although Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has reliably been one of former President Donald Trump's most ardent defenders when it comes to challenging the integrity of the 2020 election, he admitted in a secretly recorded video that Trump very likely lost his state fair and square.

A video posted on Twitter by Lauren Windsor, who describes herself as an "undercover reporter," shows Johnson delivering a breakdown of numbers in Wisconsin in which he says Trump could have won if tens of thousands of traditional Republican voters not left his name off their ballots.

"Collectively, the state assembly candidates, just Republican state assembly candidates, got [1.661 million] votes," Johnson explained. "The eight congressional candidates also got [1.661 million], so we obviously counted enough Republican votes. The only reason Trump lost Wisconsin is that 51,000 Republican voters didn't vote for him."

Windsor is a lefty who executive-produces a show on the Young Turks Network; her website includes praise from members of the left-wing media, but also from the late GOP megadonor Foster Friess (who said he admired her "intensity") and Tim Phillips of the Koch brothers network ("[She's] good... Absolutely, I'm impressed"). So she knows right-wingers. Could this have been slipped to her (directly or indirectly) by Johnson's own staff, or someone else connected to the Wisconsin GOP?

There are many true Trump believers in the GOP, but I think a large segment of the party sees Trump as a liability and would like to move on. It's safe for Ryan to express this sentiment openly -- he's out of office and not gearing up to run for anything again. Johnson is being more circumspect. But I txhink he might have wanted this to be heard.


UPDATE: And now we learn that Johnson is calling for an election audit in Wisconsin. So I guess he had to cover his (far-)right flank. But he still might want both messages out there. It's 2021. Given the balkanized news landscape, saying mutually exclusive things is a lot less harmful to a politician than it used to be, if one side believes one statement and the other side believes the other. He can probably persuade the crazies that the hot mic moment was fake news -- and he can probably persuade the mainstream media that he's not part of the Trumpist problem.


This Politico story is ostensibly about poor, besieged Kevin McCarthy, who's being urged by his far-right flank and by the GOP's voter base to pursue an impeachment of President Biden.
As hard as Kevin McCarthy has hammered the White House over the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, he’s under rising pressure from his right to go further.

The House minority leader has repeatedly pushed back on rank-and-file Republicans who want to make a high-stakes call for impeaching Biden over his handling of Afghanistan — a vow that would come due should the GOP take back the chamber next November. But multiple House Republican sources said that even before Tuesday’s fraught end to the U.S. military mission, their offices were being bombarded with calls from base voters for a future Biden impeachment or another more forceful response against the administration.
However, it appears that all but a few Republicans want to avoid impeaching Biden -- which is the savvy move and shouldn't give Democrats comfort.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus discussed whether to endorse calling for Biden to be impeached during a meeting last week, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the confab. Some were not ready to commit to impeaching Biden, one source said. But almost all members agreed that “doing nothing is not an option at this point,” according to another Freedom Caucus member at the meeting....
The Freedom Caucus's excuse for not advocating impeachment? They don't want to turn the presidency over to history's greatest monster, Kamala Harris.
Freedom Caucus members were “preparing for calling for resignations and or impeachment” last week, this GOP lawmaker said, but were also realistic about the Democratic line of succession. Some Republicans say privately that they have raised the ascension of Vice President Kamala Harris to constituents as a reason why they are not behind impeachment.
That's a convenient excuse, as is this:
One senior House Republican, speaking candidly on condition of anonymity, didn’t discount the idea of supporting impeachment down the line — particularly if the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates further, as many in the party have warned. The danger lies in a rush to that endgame, this Republican said, which puts McCarthy's party at risk of open hypocrisy after blasting Democrats.
Really? When have Republicans ever worried about appearing to be hypocrites? And when have they ever been punished for hypocrisy?

They don't want to impeach because they know that impeachment caused Bill Clinton's approval rating to soar, and also resulted in steadily rising poll numbers for Donald Trump from early November 2019 through February 2020. Much smarter to embroil Biden in multiple investigations, a la Benghazi, if they can keep their howling mob of a base calm while pursuing this course.

The Freedom Caucus and the rest of the House GOP delegation hope they can distract the mob with sideshows:
The [Freedom Caucus] is planning a Tuesday press conference to urge Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call Congress back into session early so lawmakers can vote on a GOP resolution backing impeachment of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as GOP resolutions calling for the resignations of Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff....

...The House GOP also plans to use the upcoming debate over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to spotlight problems with the U.S. pullout.

...Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said Monday that the party already has 50 NDAA amendments on Afghanistan, aimed at U.S. equipment that may have been left behind and the closure of Bagram airbase ahead of the withdrawal, among other issues.
Expect a few Republicans to campaign on impeaching Biden in 2022 -- but probably fewer than you'd imagine. After that, an impeachment of Blinken is more likely than an impeachment of the president, as are many monthslong investigations featuring Jim Jordan and other GOP blowhards. The point will be to avoid a failed vote to convict Biden in the Senate, which will be widely seen as an exoneration, and will make Republicans look weak. The party would much rather keep Biden under a permanent cloud of suspicion -- seemingly guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, but never tried -- until November 2024.

Monday, August 30, 2021


On the same day that the Lifestyle section of The Washington Post published an embarrassing puff piece about Dana Loesch, the former talking head for NRATV, this story appeared:
“The View” will fill Meghan McCain’s slot with a rotating cast of guest conservative co-hosts when it returns for it 25th season next month.

First up will be former Utah Congresswoman Mia Love, who will join moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-hosts Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Sara Haines for the first week, which begins Sept. 7....

Additional guest co-hosts include Condoleezza Rice, S.E. Cupp, Gretchen Carlson, Carly Fiorina, Eboni K. Williams, Mary Katharine Ham, Alyssa Farah and Cameran Eubanks.
Loesch's name is not on the list.

The profile is her consolation prize, or maybe her publicist (and the Post) hoped it would coincide with her appearance on The View's list of guest hosts. No such luck.

The story assures us that this woman who made her bones defending gun absolutism really, really has a broad range of interests.
By now she’s gotten used to being called a “gun hottie.” She dismisses the label as an attempt to diminish her and undermine the fact that even though she relishes talking about gun policy, the overwhelming majority of content she produces is about other topics, including election law, foreign policy, gender identity and criticism of pronouns used by transgender people, to name just a few.
See? I could do Meghan's job!

We're told she's " a voracious researcher," although the evidence at the link is just a series of blog posts, only one of which was posted this year. The blog items bear titles such as "Glorified Latte Fetcher Outed As NYT Op/Ed Writer," which ... does not sound research-y. (It's about Miles Taylor, author of an anonymous 2018 op-ed about the Trump White House.)

We're told that other people are more high-powered in the world of talk radio, but Loesch is really the rising star, because, um, well ... because.
She’s taking on newcomers, such as former U.S. Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, a social media juggernaut and entrepreneur who says he’s airing on 300 stations. Buck Sexton and Clay Travis, a duo signed by Limbaugh’s former syndicator, recently launched a program that airs on 400 stations. The others boast more stations and more listeners, but the question is whether they can hold them. Loesch has the built-in asset of a longtime audience and a record of high ratings.
So we should just credit her with having more stations than Bongino or Sexton and Travis, even if she doesn't, is what I believe we're being told here.

And there are biographical details that strain credulity. We're informed that
It begins for Dana Loesch in the Missouri Ozarks — a speck of a place called Hematite with a restaurant she says was actually named “the Rest’urnt.”

Her memories are populated by “liquoriffic aunts” and an “Uncle Junior” who favored brown polyester leisure suits, aviator glasses and a gold pinkie ring and whose real name was a mystery to all. For “a spell,” she writes in her book, “Flyover Nation,” the phone directory didn’t trifle with some people’s full names, simply listing them with nicknames like “Clunker,” “Boots” and “Speedy.”
(NARRATOR: I can assure you that no such phone directory was ever published.)

Several paragraphs after we're told about this backwoods squalor, we're told,
(She also studied classical ballet for years.)
In fact:

So who taught her? Clunker? Boots? Mrs. Boots?

Loesch wants the Post to print the legend, and the Post obliges. But why does Loesch even want attention from the Post? After all, we're told she's a rising star, except among benighted "blue staters" who "hadn't been paying attention" as she was becoming famous. I guess she actually cares what we think -- she knows she's ghettoized and pigeonholed. She'd like to make a crossover move. The producers of The View don't seem eager to help her out. But the Post -- despite her past attacks on the mainstream media -- is happy to help.


The New York Times has a story about the death of democracy in Republican-controlled states. But it isn't presented as a story about that. We're simply told that Republicans are making an aggressive ideological push in the 60% of states where they control legislatures, with no real discussion of why Republicans control 60% of legislatures in a country where they've lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections.
Increasingly, state legislatures, especially in 30 Republican-controlled states, have seized an outsize role for themselves, pressing conservative agendas on voting, Covid-19 and the culture wars that are amplifying partisan splits and shaping policy well beyond their own borders.

Indeed, for a party out of power in Washington, state legislatures have become enormous sources of leverage and influence. That is especially true for rural conservatives who largely control the legislatures in key states like Wisconsin, Texas and Georgia and could now lock in a strong Republican tilt in Congress and cement their own power for the next decade.
Wisconsin and Georgia voted for Joe Biden. Texas has five of the thirteen most populous cities in America. Yet "rural conservatives ... largely control the legislatures." Why?
The next battle, already underway in many states, is over the drawing of congressional and state legislative districts. Republicans control 26 of the legislatures that will draw political maps, compared with 13 for Democrats. (Other states have nonpartisan commissions that draw legislative districts, or have just one seat.)
There's no mention of the last round of redistricting, which was a principal reason for the imbalances I'm talking about. There's no mention of REDMAP, the GOP's Redistricting Majority Project, which targeted state legislatures prior to 2010 and helped give the GOP district-drawing power out of proportion to its electoral popularity nationwide. The current imbalances aren't described as imbalances and are presented as a fact of nature.
The national role being played by state legislatures reflects in part the sorting of Americans into opposing partisan camps. Thirty years ago, 15 of the 50 state legislatures were split between Republican and Democratic control. Today, only Minnesota’s House and Senate are divided.

And the system favors partisanship. Few pay attention to state assembly races, so roughly four in 10 seats nationwide are uncontested in general elections, said Gary Moncrief, a co-author of the standard work on state politics, “Why States Matter.”

“That means the real decisions are made in the primaries,” he said, where voters tend to be hard-liners.
But we're never told that Republican hard-liners survive general elections because Republican redistricters draw district boundaries in such a way as to ensure their victory no matter how extreme they are, and create many more Republican than Democratic districts, even in fifty-fifty states.

And what do these GOP hard-liners do with this power?
This year’s legislative sessions have spawned the largest wave of anti-abortion legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Many Republican legislatures have seized power from Democratic-leaning cities and counties on issues including policing, the coronavirus and tree preservation. They have made base-energizing issues like transgender rights and classroom teaching on race centerpieces of debate.
(If I'd been writing this, I might have mentioned state overrides of local efforts to increase the minimum wage, control the flow of guns, or remove Confederate statues rather than tree preservation, but that's just me.)

There's a great deal of focus on new revisions of election law -- understandably, given Donald Trump's efforts to steal last year's presidential election.
Most important, they have rewritten election and voting laws in ways that largely hinder Democratic-leaning voters and give Republicans more influence over how elections are run — and, critics say, how they are decided. And in some states, they are eyeing their own versions of the Arizona State Senate’s brazenly partisan review of the 2020 vote, a new and, to many, dangerous attack on the nonpartisan underpinnings of American elections....

Arkansas empowered the State Elections Board to investigate local elections and “take corrective action” against suspected irregularities.... Iowa and other states would levy fines and even criminal penalties for missteps by local election officials, raising concerns that punishments could be used for partisan gain.

Georgia’s legislature gave itself control over most appointments to the State Election Board and allowed it to investigate and replace local election officials. Already, lawmakers are seeking an inquiry in Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold....
It's good to point this out -- but why no mention of the fact that this is just a continuation of what Republicans have been doing for many years? Why no mention of the yearslong nationwide push for voter ID laws, the massive 2017 voter-roll purge in Georgia that may well have cost Democrats the governorship, the imposition of what's effectively a poll tax on felons in Florida after voters chose to reenfranchise them in a 2018 referendum?

This story is worthwhile up to a point. Times readers should know that Republicans are using legislative power to push through an extreme agenda in a majority of American states. But there's no mention of how we got here. A reader might think that Republicans didn't even consider monkeying with the election laws until Donald Trump gave them the idea. It didn't start with Trump, and it won't end when he's gone.

Sunday, August 29, 2021


The governor of Mississippi has thoughts about the pandemic.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves believes religion has a lot to do with the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a Thursday, Aug. 26, fundraiser at the Eads home of Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Brent Taylor, Reeves spoke to several dozen Republicans.

“I’m often asked by some of my friends on the other side of the aisle about COVID … and why does it seem like folks in Mississippi and maybe in the Mid-South are a little less scared, shall we say,” Reeves said.

“When you believe in eternal life — when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, then you don’t have to be so scared of things,” he said....
A day after the governor said this, statisics revealed that Mississippi has now had more COVID deaths per capita than New York State, which was slammed with the original virus surge, at a time when no one knew how to treat severe COVID. (New York's hospital system, unlike Mississippi's, is holding up fine in the summer of the Delta variant.)

I had a question about the governor's contention that God-fearing Mississippians don't fear death as much as we godless liberals do:

But Yastreblyansky had an answer:

That might be right. They say they're afraid of "illegals" and "gangbangers" and their own government (when it's run by Democrats), but they're probably just praying for the moment when society will endorse their desire to shoot people in these categories.


They obviously have some fear of COVID, however -- otherwise they wouldn't be dosing themselves with hydroxychloroquine and zinc and ivermectin. Not the vaccines, of course.

Why not? I know why some Black people say they won't get vaccinated. This is from a CNN report:
I've been walking around the Atlanta community asking primarily Black people what they think about getting the vaccine. One guy had not yet decided to be vaccinated, and he was pretty sure he wouldn't be.

He said, "I have never seen anything good in this country be offered to poor people at the same time as rich people. I can't think of any example of something that's really good that poor people get to have, too. Not a school, not health care, not anything. So why should this be different? I'm skeptical of something that's being offered to me."
And there's this, from The New York Times:
... a civil rights activist in the Bronx said he grew suspicious when he heard last year that politicians were prioritizing minority neighborhoods for coronavirus vaccinations.

“Since when does America give anything good to Black people first?” said the activist, Hawk Newsome, a 44-year-old Black Lives Matter leader who is unvaccinated.
White conservatives seem to be saying a similar thing, even though most of the politicians, doctors, and pharmaceutical executives promoting vaccination look a lot like them. They think the vaccines comes from Liberal Deep State World, and they think we're trying to kill them with vaccination. Black people at least have some reason to be suspicious of a white-dominated culture. But I think white conservatives suspect we're trying to kill them with the vaccines because that's what they'd do to us if society would let them.

Maybe they just think everything we do is a calculated act of maximum evil because right-wing media tells them that everything we do -- giving gay and trans people rights, hearing immigrants' asylum claims, opposing police brutality, raising taxes on the rich to fund social programs and build infrastructure, attempting to transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy -- is a calculated act of maximum evil. The vaccines must be more of the same, right? They may not fear death, but they clearly want to win the war against us while they're alive. Getting vaccinated and wearing masks are acts of collaboration with the enemy.

Saturday, August 28, 2021


In her latest column, Michelle Goldberg warns us that people at the fringes of American politics are taking a specific form of inspiration from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
“We’ve come across a lot of content [at] U.S.-based extreme far-right websites saying how good the Taliban victory is, and why it’s good for their cause,” said Adam Hadley, director of Tech Against Terrorism, a U.N.-supported project that monitors extremists online.
Does she have an example? Yes, but she's chosen not to be specific about it.
One neo-Nazi website, which I won’t link to, has a tract hailing the Taliban victory in part for showing that a small band of armed fundamentalists can defeat the American empire.
I respect Goldberg's decision not to link to Nazis. But you don't need to go to open admirers of Hitler if you want to be told that maybe some Americans should do what the Taliban did. You just need to find the right Trump fan.
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan spoke to a Donald Trump supporter who warned of a Taliban-like takeover in America if the former president isn’t restored to office.

O’Sullivan appeared on New Day Monday....

Stephen Palmer, one of the Trump supporters O’Sullivan spoke with at the Iowa State Fair in Des [Moines] ... darkly insinuated that America could go the same way as Afghanistan if that’s what it takes to return Trump to power.
There’s millions of guns here. You know, it took 11 days for them to take over Afghanistan. Wonder how many days — just asking for a friend — how many days it would take the patriots to take over this country. Think about it.
“You don’t want that to happen,” O’Sullivan responded.

“I don’t want it to happen,” Palmer said, “but if our country, our government, our Congress and Biden don’t get their heads out of their butt, it’s going to happen. I assure you. It’s coming.”

There's nothing fringe-y about this idea. It's mainstream conservatism.


Juan Cole just published a post titled "Top 4 Times US Troops Were Bombed Under Republican Presidents and No One Resigned or Was Impeached." Here's Cole's first example:
On October 23, 1983, radical Shiites of the Islamic Amal offshoot truck-bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut, after Ronald Reagan sent in a peacekeeping team in the wake of the unprovoked 1982 Israeli invasion of that country and its subsequent collapse back into civil war. The attack killed 241 US military personnel. A separate attack killed 58 French troops at a nearby site.

President Reagan did not offer to resign over the attack. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill did not bring up impeaching the president. in December, two months after the attack, Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) did call for the resignation over the security lapse of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger (“Weinberger must Resign,” UPI, December 29, 1983). Weinberger did not resign.
But that wasn't an isolated event, as Jane Mayer noted in 2014:
Six months earlier, militants had bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, too, killing sixty-three more people, including seventeen Americans. Among the dead were seven C.I.A. officers, including the agency’s top analyst in the Middle East, an immensely valuable intelligence asset, and the Beirut station chief....

In September of 1984, for the third time in eighteen months, jihadists bombed a U.S. government outpost in Beirut yet again.
Twenty-four people were killed in that September 1984 bombing, including two U.S. servicemembers. As Mayer noted, Reagan responded with excuses:
President Reagan acknowledged that the new security precautions that had been advocated by Congress hadn’t yet been implemented at the U.S. embassy annex that had been hit. The problem, the President admitted, was that the repairs hadn’t quite been completed on time. As he put it, “Anyone who’s ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would.”
Were there widespread calls for Reagan's resignation? Was this the sequence of events that destroyed his presidency? Not at all. Reagan was in the middle of a reelection campaign, and he didn't even stop campaigning.

The third bombing took place on September 20, 1984. I'll quote what I wrote several years ago:
What did Ronald Reagan do on September 21, 1984? He made three campaign appearances in Iowa -- at an airport rally, a farm, and a church picnic.... He then returned to Washington and made a well-publicized visit to the home of seven-year-old Rudolph Lee-Hines, who lived in the predominantly black Congress Heights section of Washington. Reagan had dinner at the home of Lee-Hines, who was described in news reports as Reagan's "pen pal"; they'd exchanged several letters after a Reagan visit to the boy's school the previous March.

As a housewarming gift, Reagan brought a jar of jelly beans.
(For those of you who are too young to remember, Reagan's fondness for jelly beans was much remarked upon in the media, and was an important part of his genial-grandpa brand.)

Forty-seven days after that third bombing, Ronald Reagan was reelected president by a 59%-41% popular vote margin. He won 49 of 50 states. And until Donald Trump came along, he was the favorite president of nearly everyone who's calling for Joe Biden's head right now.

Friday, August 27, 2021


Yesterday, Greg Sargent wrote that we can see the future of American conservatism in the right's response to the pandemic and the situation in Afghanistan.
While some Republicans recognize an obligation to admit [Afghan refugees] here ... many are aligning with Trump and demagoguing them in the most despicable terms imaginable.

Meanwhile, with covid cases on the rise, GOP governors in states seeing the worst outbreaks are escalating efforts to blame this on migrants who, fleeing their own horrors, are attempting to cross our southern border....

These two developments together ... suggest that U.S. reactionary right-wing movements may be characterized by a very particular form of rising nativist and ethnonationalist cruelty....
Sargent cites a book by Alex Hochuli, George Hoare, and Philip Cunliffe called The End of the End of History, which sees the rise of
a zero-sum [right-wing nativist] ideology that emphasizes “limited resources” and a “need to reduce surplus populations” by “removing outsiders and other elements” that corrupt the “indigenous” population....
It's true that many right-wingers are now suggesting that 100% of the increase in COVID cases is caused by immigrant border crossers -- even though highly vaccinated New York City, where undocumented immigrants routinely settle, has a hospital system that isn't in crisis now, while hospitals in much of Red America are reeling.

But the right doesn't blame every problem on foreigners. Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick recently suggested that the rise in his state's COVID caseload was the fault of unvaccinated Black people who vote Democratic. This echoes what we learned about the White House response to the pandemic in early 2020 from Vanity Fair's Katherine Eban:
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment [one public health] expert said a member of [Jared] Kushner's team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national [testing] plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. "The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy," said the expert.
The American right will always scapegoat foreigners, but that will never be its sole focus, because there are so many domestic enemies to scapegoat as well: Antifa. Black Lives Matter. Critical race theorists. "Urban thugs." Hollywood liberals. College professors. "Soy boy" college students. The mainstream media. Hunter Biden. Nancy Pelosi. AOC. Actually, the entire "Democrat Party."

Other right-wing parties around the world might focus the majority of their anger on foreigners, but Republicans won't -- they hate too many Americans.


Michael Byrd, the police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 Capitol insurrection, went public last night in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt.

I told you early last month that the wingnuts had outed him. They had the right cop. And after last night's interview, they had just the reaction you'd expect them to have.

From the Gateway Pundit comments:
He sounds no different than all the other affirmative action a**holes out there. Entitlement and Ebonics, I am sick of both.


Yo I be saving lives yo


Looks like Idi Amin, probably a cannibal as well


... mike byrd is a scared, slithering piece of snake s hit who murdered a white woman because he's a racist. Unfortunately and predictably, his IQ is around 54, so he'll he'll F up again.
(Never forget: Right-wingers believe racism exists, but only against white people.)
He exemplifies why we denied black people the right to vote.


Someone who escaped the Democrat Plantation


and incompetent imbecile that is in his position because he is black.

Byrd left a loaded pistol with the safety off in a Capitol building men's room in 2019. If he were white he would've been fired on the spot. He is an excellent example of the fruits of Affirmative Action...


I suspect he wanted to kill a white woman because some whites were not nice to some his family members who lived in Jamaica.


Kamala's Ancestors OWNED his ancestors in Jamaica.


He's just an ignorant (undereducated) cowardly Negro living his sh***y life !


Evil subhuman ape!


Black privilege at its zenith!


He is BLM Black Lying Murderer


Their Laughing Right In Your Face... Monkeys Belong In The Zoo
Byrd told Holt that he'd received death threats. Babbitt's husband subsequently appeared on Tucker Carlson's show and scoffed at that.
Aaron Babbitt told of his outrage at Lieutenant Michael Byrd's interview with NBC News on Thursday, hours after he was unmasked as Ashli's killer.

Aaron said: 'I don't even want to hear him talk about how he's getting death threats, and he's scared. I've been getting death threats since January 7th - two, three, five, 10 a day - and all I did on January 6th is becoming a widower,' he told Carlson.
Byrd, it should be noted is regularly threatened with death in online forums. It happens quite a few times in those Gateway Pundit comments:
He better keep his coward shitbag a s s hidden, too. He's knows people are looking for him.


Maybe he should keep looking back over his shoulder.


... Byrd should swing from the gallows, but will never face justice.


When are Americans going to stop taking this crap; and do something to punish the evil doers - and not at the ballot box.


He deserves life in front of a firing squad.


He has won the right to become extinct.


He is a marked man no matter what end he stands on
When one shoots at an unarmed human being from the back is a coward and a MURDERER!!!
He will be tasting his own karma in due time
Marked like Cain on the forehead
Watch and see


You’ll get yours shitbag


I won't shed a tear when what goes around comes around.


This fascist needs to die


Lets hope someone protects the country from him the same way he protected people from an unarmed woman.
The commenters shed many tears for imprisoned 1/6 insurrectionists, and some of them just want Byrd to trade places with those insurrectionists. But many of them talk about tribunals and Nuremberg trials -- they want a government run by their ideological soul mates to give them the revenge they crave, through an extremely authoritarian, vengeful legal system.

They think they're living in a totaliarian dictatorship now, of course -- one run by Democrats, Marxists, and the Deep State. Do they believe this, or is it just the kind of government they'd run if given the chance?

Thursday, August 26, 2021


Before we learned about today's awful events in Afghanistan, one of America's top stories was about COVID and domestic politics.
As Florida faces record covid-19 deaths, DeSantis says Biden should follow his lead
Yes, DeSantis said that.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said President Biden has failed to “end covid” and should follow his state’s lead, even as Florida experiences record-breaking cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

Florida is now reporting an average of 227 covid-19 deaths each day — a state record and by far the highest count in the nation. The daily death count in Florida, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant, has increased by 613 percent in the past seven days....

But in a Wednesday interview with Fox News, DeSantis defended his response, saying Florida is seeing “great success” in treating covid patients with monoclonal antibodies — an effective, widely available therapy that few people are receiving....

“You know, he said he was going to end covid. He hasn’t done that,” DeSantis told Fox News host Jesse Watters. “At the end of the day, he is trying to find a way to distract from the failures of his presidency.”
DeSantis is failing miserably on COVID -- failing as a matter of deliberate strategy -- but he learned this approach to criticism from Donald Trump, who learned it from Roy Cohn: never apologize, never explain, double down. DeSantis and Trump are also creatures of Fox News. This was Roger Ailes's strategy for dealing with critics, too.

I thought about this story later in the day when we learned of the attacks in Kabul and the thirteen dead U.S. servicemembers. The mainstream press wants President Biden to acknowledge error, wants him to say that the withdrawal of U.S. forces has been a failure. Biden won't. He points to the tens of thousands of evacuees and insists that there's no longer any reason to maintain a U.S. troop presence in the country. He says there's no point trying to do the kind of nation-building we were trying to do for twenty years.

He's explaining, but he's not apologizing. You could say he's doubling down. But it doesn't have the same impact.

The press has liked Trump's style for forty years, and seems fascinated by DeSantis's. Not Biden's. What's the difference? Even before he was in politics, Trump always had an enemy, and the press loved watching him beat that enemy up. Once Trump's enemies became exclusively Democrats (and insufficiently loyal Republicans), Fox News reveled in his attacks, and a number of mainstream journalists, many of whom see the GOP as Big Men on Campus whom they want to impress, had a similar response. Fox and quite a few mainstream journalists enjoy watching DeSantis pound on his enemies as well.

But while Biden is critical of Trump, he doesn't focus his Afghanistan comments on Trump-bashing. And it wouldn't help him much if he did -- the press never delights in a Democrat's attacks on Republicans the way it frequently does when the parties are reversed.

That's the extra ingredient that makes "never apologize and double down" work: you need an enemy you can blame instead, and you need an audience that will eagerly agree with your blame-shifting. That's never been a problem for Trump and DeSantis. Biden isn't so fortunate.


Here's the headline of a New York Times story by Annie Karni:
The Latest G.O.P. Schism: How to Handle Afghan Evacuees

The resettlement of Afghan allies in the U.S. is revealing an internal divide between the party’s anti-immigrant wing and other conservatives who want to help the refugees.
A divide among Republicans? So they're fighting with one another?

No, not really.
The Republican Party is united in its criticism of President Biden’s chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the crisis has also exposed a deep internal divide between party leaders over relocating Afghan refugees at home.

Many Republican lawmakers have accused Mr. Biden of abandoning the Afghan interpreters and guides who helped the United States during two decades of war....

But others — including former President Donald J. Trump and Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader — have sought to fold the issue of Afghan refugees into the anti-immigrant stance of the party’s far right. They are criticizing Mr. Biden not simply for leaving the Afghans behind, but for opening the United States up to what they characterized as dangerous foreigners.

“We’ll have terrorists coming across the border,” Mr. McCarthy said last week on a call with a group of bipartisan House members.... He also brought up the issue of migrants entering the country along the U.S.-Mexico border in his discussion of Afghans being evacuated.
(Ah, yes -- the spectre of Muslim evildoers making their way to Latin America so they can sneak across the Mexican border, an alleged source of terrorism that the right has told scare stories about for years, even though there's never been a terrorist attack attributable to these mythical jihadist border crossers.)

But as we're told later in the story, McCarthy has also expressed pro-refugee sentiments.
On the issue of Afghan refugees, Mr. McCarthy has walked the same tightrope that he has on other issues, trying to appease the two sides of the party. He has stated publicly that “we owe it to these people, who are our friends and who worked with us, to get them out safely if we can.” But he has also leaned into the nativist, Trumpian side, giving voice to the generalized, inchoate fears about foreigners entering the country.
But that's not a "tightrope." McCarthy will be fine expressing both sentiments alternately, as long as both messages serve the ultimate goal of bashing Biden.

As Karni writes, Tom Cotton, Elise Stefanik, and some religious conservatives are demanding that that Biden aid the Afghans who worked with the U.S., while Trump, Stephen Miller, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham all want to turn Afghan refugees away. My guess is that, within the party, the nativists will win, even though polling shows that even a majority of Republicans want to admit fleeing Afghans to America. That majority won't object, however, if the nativists start saying, a few weeks or months from now, that the Afghans hate America and have extreme ideas and are likely to live on welfare or take jobs that could go to Americans (or both, I suppose, even though that's contradictory). All that will matter is that Biden is under attack.

Republicans never worry about the internal contradictions in their messaging. They bashed Bill Clinton as a white-trash president who profaned the Oval Office by wearing shirtsleeves and jeans. (Ronald Reagan would never enter the Oval without a suit!) Then they said Barack Obama and most subsequent Democrats were bad because they were "elitists," in contrast to Donald Trump, the crude, foul-mouthed "blue-collar billionaire." In 2011, Newt Gingrich demanded that Obama “exercise a no-fly zone" in Libya, then, when Obama did just that, Gingrich accused him of "opportunism" and said, "I would not have intervened." Did anyone in the GOP care about the contradiction, apart from the fact that Gingrich was way too obvious about it? There was no Libya "schism" -- and by late fall of that year, Gingrich was briefly the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Attacking Democrats is all that matters. Republicans will order multiple items off the menu that they believe will serve that purpose, and sort it all out later.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


So today I wandered over to Natural News, which the Daily Beast has called "the new InfoWars," and which Wikipedia describes "a far-right, anti-vaccination conspiracy theory and fake news website known for promoting alternative medicine, pseudoscience, and far-right extremism."

From these fine folks I learn that the problematic U.S. endgame in Afghanistan didn't happen because of poor planning, or because it's simply impossible to leave a failed state in a neat and tidy manner. No, the difficulties were all by design.

We're told:
According to published reports, it appears as though the Biden regime has done the unthinkable: supplied weapons to the new Taliban government in Afghanistan by default, if not on purpose outright.

Reuters reported last week that even though President Biden announced in April that the U.S. would be withdrawing, the U.S. continued to supply Afghan National Army forces....

... U.S. officials and intelligence officers knew that the Afghan military would never stand up to the Taliban, but our government — the Biden regime — continued to move weapons and military gear and aircraft into the country anyway, with much of the more advanced equipment being taken to neighboring Pakistan, where that government, which American taxpayers fund, will hand it over to their pals, the Chinese.
But how do we know this is true? Because Lara Logan says so!
All of this was verified by investigative reporter Lara Logan last week in an interview that aired on Fox Nation, the network’s new streaming network.

In an interview for “Tucker Carlson Today,” Logan, host of “Lara Logan Has No Agenda” on the same network, ... said that whoever is “pulling the strings” in the Biden regime, including deep state types behind the scenes, wanted the Afghanistan situation to develop into a crisis and for it to get worse despite saying that there wasn’t anything anyone could do to stop it....

“What they want you to believe is that Afghanistan is complicated. Because if you complicate it, it’s a tactic in information warfare called ‘ambiguity increasing,’” Logan told Carlson.

“It always comes down to one thing, one or two things. And in this case, in Afghanistan, this comes down to the fact that the United States wants this outcome,” she added. “Whoever is in power right now, whoever is really pulling the strings – and I don’t know that – they could do anything they want to change this. And they’re not.”
"They could do anything they want to change this"! It's a piece of cake! Any idiot could have extricated all the troops, all the Americans, all the military equipment, and all the Afghan allies out of the country! Probably in a weekend!

And why would Biden -- or the people pulling the strings for him -- want this outcome? Let's go to another story posted on the Natural News site:
Now it makes sense: Biden wanted out of Afghanistan so his Chinese masters could take control of lithium deposits ahead of electric car push

As president, Donald Trump literally made the United States energy independent for the first time since the 1960s....

[But] Biden and the Marxists propping him up are pushing through ‘green’ energy mandates long before our country is ready for them simply because we don’t have the infrastructure to support them — priorities like all-electric vehicles and solar power...

Where will America now get these raw materials to make the green energy products like the lithium-powered batteries that go into electric vehicles? ...

Afghanistan has some of the world’s largest lithium deposits if not the biggest, and now the country that owns the Bidens — China — is moving in to take control over those resources so Beijing will retain veto power over future American economic and power growth....

Had enough of this abuse yet by these deep state globalists who run our government?
I don't know if your right-wing relatives have heard that Biden deliberately engineered chaos in Afghanistan so his Chinese overlords could control the materials needed for non-fossil energy, but they will. I'm sure they'll start hearing it soon on the most of their favorite talk radio and Fox shows. They'll probably hear it from Republican members of Congress. And if Republicans take one or both houses of Congress in 2022, we'll all be exposed to this idea in an endless series of hearings -- probably including impeachment hearings.


We've seen this approach before:
President Biden on Tuesday reaffirmed his intent to complete the U.S. evacuation mission in Afghanistan by Aug. 31, but he also ordered contingency plans if that cannot be accomplished — a position that stoked a new round of outrage and confusion about the United States’ exit from a two-decade war....

Speaking at the White House after meeting virtually with leaders of the Group of Seven large industrialized democracies, Biden said that the United States was on pace to wrap up its efforts in Afghanistan by Aug. 31 and that any extension risked terrorist attacks.

“The sooner we can finish, the better,” Biden said. “Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops.”

But the president also said that meeting that deadline would require avoiding unforeseen disruptions and that it “depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who we’re transporting out.” He said that he asked the Pentagon and the State Department to draft contingency plans should the U.S. government have to shift its timeline.

Reflecting the moment’s extreme delicacy, CIA Director William J. Burns held a secret meeting Monday in Kabul with the Taliban’s de facto leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar....

The notion of a firm deadline was already drawing sharp criticism Tuesday, even from longtime Biden supporters.
Biden is under fire for all of this -- from the usual shriekers...

And from two showboating congressmen, Democrat Seth Moulton and Republican Peter Meijer, who just made a secret trip to Kabul:

But negotiating with the Taliban and pledging to stick to the 8/31 deadline if possible is just what you'd expect from Biden. When he ran for president, he pledged to negotiate with a Republican Party that wants him to fail, and as president he's done that. He keeps talking. He makes concessions. And it's been more successful than most of us expected it to be.

I don't think 8/31 will hold. But Biden's insistence that he wants it to hold might be a successful negotiating tactic. We've underestimated him at times when he's dealt with a group dominated by hate-filled absolutists. Maybe a guy who can occasionally wring a compromise out of the GOP is just who we want negotiating with the Taliban.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


A few years ago, reporters were flocking to Rust Belt diners to ask Donald Trump voters whether they really liked Donald Trump. (They did.) In 2021, the new diner safaris are vaccine safaris. Here's a CNN reporter at the recent Trump rally in Alabama confirming the obvious: that COVID vaccine refusers really, really don't intend to get vaccinated, and don't intend to do anhything else to slow the spread of the virus, because doing so makes you a "sheep":

It's an attitude that can lead to the ICU, as we can see in this much-watched New York Times documentary set in an Arkansas community with a very low vaccination rate and full hospitals.

In the Times video, producer Alexander Stockton says:
I heard this over and over: freedom, choice.... Misinformation certainly exists here, but a powerful force behind the hesitancy is this fundamental idea of personal freedom.
This made me think about Frank Wilhoit's famous definition of conservatism:
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
But in a pandemic, that either/or choice doesn't apply. Everyone needs to be bound so that everyone can be protected. I wear a mask to protect you and you wear a mask to protect me. Vaccines may not prevent the spread of all variants, but if I'm vaccinated, I'm won't be in the hospital bed when you need it, and vice versa.

But conservatives angrily reject this premise. So here's a corollary to Wilhoit's Law:
If conservatives can't be protected without being bound, they'd rather not be protected at all.
We already know this from gun politics in America. Of the dozen states with the highest firearm mortality rates in America, eleven are red states. The eight states with the lowest rates are all blue. Conservatives die at a higher rate from firearms, but they don't want to do anything about that. Not if it means restricting their freedoms.

And here's something I've quoted a few times, from a review of Arlie Russell Hochschild's 2016 book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (emphasis added).
The paradox that most baffles Hochschild is the question of environmental pollution.... southwestern Louisiana combines some of the nation’s most fervently antiregulatory voters with its most toxic environmental conditions....

Hochschild discovers a walking personification of these ironies in a Cajun oil rig engineer named Mike Schaff. In August 2012, Schaff was entering his home in Bayou Corne, about seventy miles west of New Orleans, when he was jolted by a tremor....

More than a mile beneath the bayou, a Houston-based drilling company named Texas Brine had drilled into a vast salt dome, ignoring warnings from its own engineer.... Texas Brine drilled too closely to an oil deposit and the structure ruptured, sucking down forest and causing seismic damage to the homes of 350 nearby residents. Officials began referring to Schaff’s neighborhood as the “sacrifice zone.”

Texas Brine refused to take responsibility for the accident.... Four years later the sinkhole is 750 feet deep at its center and has grown to thirty-five acres. Methane and other gases bubble up periodically. Residents who defied evacuation orders avoided lighting matches.

... [Schaff] marched on the statehouse, wrote fifty letters to state and federal officials, granted dozens of interviews to local, national, and foreign press. When state officials claimed they had detected no oil in the bayou, he demanded that the EPA check their work.

But Schaff continued to vote Tea Party down the line. He voted for the very politicians who had abetted Texas Brine at every turn, who opposed environmental regulation of any kind. He voted to “abolish” the EPA, believing that it “was grabbing authority and tax money to take on a fictive mission ... lessening the impact of global warming.” The violent destruction of everything he held dear was not enough to change his mind.
Protect me and don't bind me -- but if I think there's binding going on, I'd rather be unprotected than bound.

Monday, August 23, 2021


The Washington Free Beacon reports:
A top Democratic National Committee firm is allowing outgoing New York governor Andrew Cuomo to solicit donations, even as party leaders and fundraising platforms have abandoned the scandal-plagued Democrat in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

Democratic Party data behemoth NGP VAN has given Cuomo a platform to collect donations from supporters through his official campaign website. NGP VAN is a major player in liberal politics, serving as the sole proprietor of the Democratic National Committee's voter database....

ActBlue, the largest liberal fundraising platform in the country, removed Cuomo on Aug. 5....
HotAir's Jazz Shaw writes:
What I still want to know is, to what purpose would Cuomo still be soliciting or even accepting campaign donations? ...

The first and most common option for politicians is to pay off campaign debt. ... But as recently as July 15, Andrew Cuomo reported sitting on $18 million in his war chest and wasn’t reporting any debt.

Another option would be to stockpile funds for a future campaign, which is also completely legal. Unless and until Cuomo is impeached and barred from future terms, he could still run for Governor again or any other office he’s technically qualified for.
Cuomo thinks he could successfully run for office again? Is he crazy? If he is, he's no crazier than much of the mainstream media.

The Atlantic's Edward Isaac-Dovere spoke for the savvy a couple of weeks ago when he wrote this about the 2022 governor's race:
A poll out Monday from the firm Slingshot Strategies showed low name identification among voters for any of the dozen likeliest options.... Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who’ll take Cuomo’s job when he officially leaves office ..., is planning to run for a full term next year and has brought on the kind of political team that makes clear she’s serious about it. Will New York’s most prominent female politicians, Attorney General Letitia James and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, really discard their gubernatorial ambitions and line up behind the state’s first female governor?

And all of a sudden, Cuomo could reemerge, claiming to be chastened, and still sitting on a $18 million campaign bank account, which is probably more than any other candidate could raise, and run against the political establishment that chased him out. That Slingshot Strategies poll also found that as of last week, 26 percent of voters would support him in a primary, which was nearly three times the level of support any of the other potential candidates had.
On the other hand, 26% isn't so hot against a field with low name recognition, especially for a guy who had an 86% approval rating within his party thirteen months ago.

Still, his run would be embarrassing national news for the party -- Fox would never stop talking about it -- and there's a chance that he really could win the nomination in a split field.

Cut him off. Don't allow him to use party fund-raising tools. Republicans are running discredited sex criminals -- Eric Greitens for Senate in Missouri and, almost certainly, Donald Trump for president again. Let's not be like them.


AP published a disturbing story yesterday about anti-mask, anti-vaccine violence and intimidation.
The Hawaii lieutenant governor watched in horror as protesters showed up outside his condo, yelled at him through bullhorns and beamed strobe lights into the building to harass him over vaccine requirements.

A parent in Northern California barged into his daughter’s elementary school and punched a teacher in the face over mask rules. At a school in Texas, a parent ripped a mask off a teacher’s face during a “Meet the Teacher” event.

A Missouri hospital leader was approached in a parking garage this week by a man from Alabama who handed him papers accusing him of “crimes against humanity,” and it was not the only in-your-face encounter over vaccines and masks. School board members, county commissioners, doctors and local leaders are regularly confronted at meetings and in public with angry taunts that compare them to the Taliban, Nazis, Marxists and the leaders of Japanese internment camps.

Across the country, anti-vaccine and anti-mask demonstrations are taking scary and violent turns, and educators, medical professionals and public figures have been stunned at the level at which they have been vilified for even stating their opinion. And they have been terrified over how far protesters will go in confronting leaders outside their homes and in their workplaces.
The story runs for 32 paragraphs -- 1,227 words. But the Republican Party is never mentioned. The right is never mentioned. The right-wing media is never mentioned. There's no mention of conservatism. Talk radio? Fox News? Newsmax? OANN? Invisible.

Everything is the fault of Facebook and YouTube.
Researchers, professors and political experts have varying opinions about how and why discourse seems to keep plunging to new lows over the pandemic, but many agree that social media is a big factor.

Barbara Rosenwein, professor emerita at Loyola University Chicago and author of “Anger: The Conflicted History of an Emotion,” said social media can make minority views look more like the majority. On the many social media platforms, people validate each other’s anger as being from a just and righteous place.

“Over time the possibility of feeling righteous anger has become democratized. Everybody feels almost obligated to feel it,” Rosenwein said. “That locks you into a position that will allow for no compromise, which is terrible for our country.”

That anger also makes it seem OK to buck authority such as teachers and government at a time of heightened culture wars on topics like education. Getting punished or even arrested might feel like “a badge of courage,” she said.
But nearly everyone is on social media, across the political spectrum, and there's nothing like this on the pro-mask, pro-vaccination side. Theoretically, our side could be harassing and intimidating vaccine refusers and anti-maskers. But we aren't.
“I don’t think these people are running into old-age homes and telling granny she better not get vaccinated,” Rosenwein said. “I think they’re telling the school teachers because teachers represent an elite that’s teaching their kids.”
You're so close, Professor Rosenwein. Who in America thinks teachers -- whose average salary is $63,645 a year -- are "elites"? Only the right thinks this way.

This is what Jay Rosen calls "view from nowhere" journalism. It avoids holding the right accountable in an effort to appear "impartial," even if "impartiality" means withholding key facts.

I have no doubt that social media alone would have been capable of fueling an anti-public-health movement during this pandemic. But the movement we have wouldn't be as powerful as it is if it didn't feed on the anti-liberal, anti-"elite" messaging the right has pumped out nonstop for years, starting long before the pandemic. And the movement wouldn't have the power it does if the Republican Party and its backers didn't see it as a turnout and contribution motivator.

The message of the harassers and intimidators isn't very different from the message of many Republican governors and Fox News hosts. Why do the authors of this AP story not consider that relevant?

Sunday, August 22, 2021


CNN poll nerd Harry Enten thinks Democrats are in trouble.
Republicans gained a seat in the Connecticut state Senate this week. They won a special election in a district that President Joe Biden won by more than 20 points in 2020.

... Across more than 30 special state legislative and federal elections during the Biden presidency, Republicans are doing 4 points better on average than former President Donald Trump did in these same districts last year.
And the numbers have gotten worse recently:
When you look at the first 17 special elections this year (through early April), the Republican overperformance over Trump was just a point. Examining the last 17 special elections, the overperformance has been 7 points. When you splice the data even further, Republicans have been outperforming the 2020 baseline by double-digits since the beginning of July.
I've been concerned about this. Many Democrats -- the ones who aren't as politically engaged as the rest of us -- think the crisis has passed because Donald Trump is out of office. Republicans, by contrast, are fully engaged, as always, because the right-wing media makes every moment of every day seem like a history-making fight between pure good and pure evil, with civilization in the balance.

Now, let's take a closer look at that Connecticut special election. The Hill reports:
A Republican investment analyst on Tuesday won a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Connecticut state Senate, the first state legislative seat to flip parties in the seven months since President Biden took office.

Ryan Fazio, 31, claimed victory late Tuesday in Connecticut’s 36th Legislative District, which opened when state Sen. Alex Kasser (D) resigned her seat earlier this year.

Almost completed returns showed Fazio edging Alexis Gevanter (D), a first-time candidate and gun control advocate, by just under 500 votes, 50.1 percent to 47.6 percent....
This is a district with many wealthy voters. It's not traditionally Democratic, yet Democrats won blowout victories in the district in the last two presidential elections.
The district Fazio will represent is no deep-blue bastion: Kasser, who won two terms in office before stepping down, was the first Democrat to hold the seat — based in wealthy Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan — since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.

Fazio narrowly lost his first bid for office when he challenged Kasser in 2020, by about a 3-point margin.

But his is the type of suburban district that swung hard against former President Trump, both in 2016 and 2020: After Mitt Romney carried the district for Republicans in 2012, Hillary Clinton won the area by 18 points five years ago, and Biden carried it by 25 points last year.
What does this mean? I think it means that Clinton and Biden did well not because their opponent was a Republican, but because he was seen as gauche. Voters in the district clearly didn't think the very preppy-looking Ryan Fazio was gauche -- or Mitt Romney, for that matter.

I don't think we'll have these voters in our coalition much longer if Republicans learn to run polite candidates. In 2024, the mainstream media might even manage sell Ron DeSantis as a sane, socialized candidate who won't break all the furniture (no, really, that's the MSM narrative about him, even now), although Donald Trump is far more likely to be the nominee.

In that case, Democrats will win the presidential vote in this Connecticut district. But before then, Democrats could struggle in this and other upmarket districts, because Trump won't be on ballots and many of the GOP candidates will present themselves as decent, upstanding Americans and not loudmouth thugs. It's all the same party, but much of the Democrats' apparent base doesn't seem to know that.

Saturday, August 21, 2021


The opinion page of The New York Times has teed up a juicy op-ed for everyone who's angry at President Biden right now:
In Afghanistan, China Is Ready to Step Into the Void

The speed and scope of the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan have prompted introspection in the West over what went wrong, and how, after billions of dollars spent on a 20-year war effort, it could all end so ignominiously. China, though, is looking forward. It is ready to step into the void left by the hasty U.S. retreat to seize a golden opportunity.

While Beijing has yet to formally recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new government, China issued a statement on Monday saying that it “respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny” and will develop “friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan.”

The message here is clear: Beijing has few qualms about fostering a closer relationship with the Taliban and is ready to assert itself as the most influential outside player in an Afghanistan now all but abandoned by the United States.
The author of the piece is Zhou Bo.
Mr. Zhou was a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army from 2003 to 2020 and is an expert on the Chinese Army’s strategic thinking on international security.
I'm no expert, but I think he just might be prejudiced in his country's favor.

This is catnip to all the wingnuts who've been calling the president "Xiden" for months. But it's a bit much even for some of the center-leaning pundits you might expect to buy it.

Tom Friedman -- whom you probably never read, or stopped reading early in the post-9/11 era, for good reason -- doesn't buy this at all. His latest column includes an imagined interview with Chinese president Xi Jinping that's extremely skeptical about this "Biden gave China a huge gift" narrative:
Friedman: President Xi, what do you think of all the American commentators proclaiming China a winner from Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan?

Xi: Oh, my, these are what we call useful idiots. What planet are these people living on? We had a perfect situation going before Biden came along. America was hemorrhaging lives, money, energy and focus in Afghanistan — and its presence was making the country just safe enough for Chinese multinationals to exploit.

The Metallurgical Corporation of China and Jiangxi Copper had a contract to develop a copper mine in Mes Aynak, and the China National Petroleum Corporation was working on a field in the north of the country — and the Americans were funding the overall security. That is our idea of perfection! Alas, neither of these projects ever got off the ground because of the craziness in the Kabul government. But Afghanistan is hugely rich in minerals we need. Who will protect our investors after the Americans have stopped doing it for free? Not me.

Friedman: How about the Taliban?

Xi: The Taliban?! You think that we trust them? Have you noticed what their brothers in the Pakistani Taliban have been doing to our investments in Pakistan? Just read The Wall Street Journal from July 28:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A gunman opened fire on a car carrying two engineers in the southern port city of Karachi, the latest attack on Chinese nationals in close ally Pakistan. … Chinese nationals have been the victims of multiple recent attacks in Pakistan. Earlier this month, a bombing killed nine Chinese construction workers in a bus being taken to the site of a dam being built in northern Pakistan. Targets of other attacks in recent years include the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, the partly Chinese-owned stock exchange in Karachi and a hotel in the Chinese-run port of Gwadar.
Xi: Pakistan cannot even keep us safe from its own Taliban and Baloch separatists — in their own country — and we own Pakistan! And don’t even get me started on how the Taliban victory could inspire our Uyghur Muslims. … Joe, Joe, what did you do to us, Joe? You should have listened to your foreign policy experts and stayed in Afghanistan. The last thing we want is you refocusing all of America’s resources and energy on competing with us for the industries of the 21st century, instead of chasing the Taliban around the Hindu Kush.
What can I say? Tom Friedman is making sense!

Zhou Bo's op-ed expresses a lot of trust in the Taliban's word:
Even before its takeover of Kabul, the Taliban had promised to protect Chinese investments in Afghanistan....

A primary concern of China is the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. According to a Chinese government report, the group had early roots in Afghanistan. According to the U.N., it received Taliban and Al Qaeda support in the 2000s.... China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said in a July meeting with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy leader of the Taliban, that he hoped the Taliban would “make a clean break” with the East Turkestan group because it “poses a direct threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity.” Mr. Wang also expressed hope that the Taliban would “build a positive image and pursue an inclusive policy” — a signal that China wants the Taliban to make good on its promise of “inclusive” governance.

In response, Mr. Baradar promised that the Taliban would never allow any group to use the Afghan territory to engage in acts harmful to China.
If you think Western leaders who take the Taliban at its word are naive, then so are Chinese leaders who do the same. I don't think this will go quite as somoothly for China as Zhou Bo wants us to believe it will.

Friday, August 20, 2021


Ron DeSantis is looking more presidential every day:
The Associated Press called on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to end “harassing behavior” by one of his press aides against an AP reporter who received threats and other online abuse.

Incoming AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham sent a letter Friday to DeSantis protesting tweets by press secretary Christina Pushaw directed at a Tallahassee, Florida-based reporter in response to a story he wrote pointing out one of DeSantis’ multimillion-dollar donors invests in a company making the COVID-19 treatment drug Regeneron. DeSantis has been touting the monoclonal antibody treatment throughout the state.

In a since-deleted tweet, Pushaw retweeted the article with the message “drag them,” which led to abusive messages being sent to him....

Pushaw said she did not mean her “drag them” comment to be taken as a threat, and she deleted it because she realized not everyone would know what it means.
But "Drag Them" wasn't the only phrase Pushaw used in her efforts to sic an online mob on the reporter, Brendan Farrington, as Veerasingham's letter notes.

"Drag Them," "put them on blast," and "Light. Them. Up" are all efforts to encourage threats and abuse, as Pushaw knows (DeSantis too, presumably).

But I wasn't joking at the beginning of this post when I said that this makes DeSantis look presidential. By the debased standards of the modern Republican Party, encouraging an online mob is presidential.

On the other hand, to the mainstream media reporters who are trying to get DeSantis elected president in 2024, what happened here is undoubtedly presidential because DeSantis left the thuggery to an aide. DeSantis isn't personally a thug! So it's all right! Everyone can continue to tout him as the man who'll return us to Republican-daddy normalcy.


The latest piece by The Washington Post's David Ignatius is headlined "The Best and Brightest never recovered from Vietnam. Will Biden’s team fare better?" Ignatius writes:
The reversals in Afghanistan are confounding for a Biden national security team that has rarely known personal failure: Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, went to Yale, Oxford and Yale Law School. Antony Blinken, secretary of state, attended Harvard and Columbia Law.

These are America’s best and brightest, who came to the messy endgame of the Afghanistan war with spotless résumés. That’s one of the parallels to the Vietnam War, where a similar group of brilliant policymakers who had rarely experienced failure was confounded by an obdurate enemy from another century. The U.S. foreign policy establishment of the 1960s hit a wall with Vietnam and never fully recovered. We’ll see what happens with the Biden team.
David Halberstam's book The Best and the Brightest is about the architects of U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam. It's about men who oversaw that policy for many years, as the war became a quagmire. Dean Rusk was secretary of state from 1961 to 1969. Robert McNamara was secretary of defense from 1961 to 1968. McGeorge Bundy was national security advisor from 1961 to 1966. William Bundy was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 1964 to 1969.

Anthony Blinken has been secretary of state for eight months. He took office a few days after Jake Sullivan became national security advisor.

Not named in Ignatius's column? Donald Rumsfeld. Dick Cheney. Condoleezza Rice. You know -- the folks who built this, and built it to fail. Or any other top official in the three administrations preceding Biden's -- perhaps Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state who negotiated terms for the withdrawal.

There's a lot of blame to go around -- but why apportion it the way it should be apportioned when you have a sitting Democratic president to bash?

Thursday, August 19, 2021


This happened today:
A suspect who claimed to have an explosive device in a truck near the US Capitol has surrendered to authorities and is in custody, US Capitol Police said Thursday.

Police have identified the suspect as 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry. The incident prompted multiple buildings in the area to be evacuated Thursday as authorities responded to an "active bomb threat investigation," the US Capitol Police wrote on Twitter.

Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress at 9:15 a.m. ET, claiming he had a bomb and displayed what looked like a detonator to the officer on the scene, according to US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger.
Even before the suspect was apprehended, it was easy for me to guess the response in Republican America:

And there you go:

(Catturd is a Tweeter who was retweeted several times by then-president Trump.)

There was a scare in Times Square today, too, but it was nothing:
The outdoor seating area behind the TKTS booth at Father Duffy Square in Times Square was evacuated due to a suspicious package.

The NYPD moved people from that area before discovering that the threat was unfounded....

A man on a bicycle dropped a metal container with crackers inside near the outdoor seating area.

The container was recovered and is not considered a threat.
The true patriots at Gateway Pundit are doubly suspicious:

In one of the now-deleted videos he posted on Facebook, Roseberry claimed the ability to blow up multiple blocks of D.C.
“People think it’s a joke but they cleared the block,” Roseberry said in one of the live videos. “They need to get Joe Biden down here. I’m not hurting nobody Joe. I’m not pulling the trigger on this thing. I can’t – there’s no way for me to blow this up. Only you can by shooting a bullet through my window. You don’t want to do it Joe. I love this land. We got a few options here Joe. You shoot me, this two and a half blocks is going with it. You’re talking about a revolution? The revolution is on. It’s here. It’s today.”
It won't matter if the next would-be revolutionary actually destroys multiple city blocks or kills dozens of people -- the right will still say it's a Biden/Deep State/(Soros?)/(Bill Gates?) false flag. They'll insist to the end that 100% of the evil in the world is on our side.